Having sorted the grazing lets yesterday I thought I would go and do the livestock checks myself this afternoon.Its a nice simple job, out on the quad drive round count the 32 sheep we have (almost got enough fingers and toes to do it so does not take me too long!) enjoy the views over Mosstown Marsh then come back to the office. The best laid plans of mice and men as they say.....
It started off very well, quad started fine, it had stopped raining so off I went. Got out to the Fen no problem at all, after yesterday I should have realised that this was too easy and given up but no I pressed on. Unfortunately no-one had bothered to tell the sheep that they were being counted this afternoon and they decided to hide. No problem I saw a white blob in the next cell of the fen and drove towards it, swerving to avoid a big puddle of water, straight into a seemingly bottomless pit of mud!. When the bike finally stopped sinking I quickly realised that there was not a chance that I was going to be driving this out without some help so a quick call to the office and wood, spades and moral support was on its way. With a bit of mild language and a lot of sweat we got the bike out, loaded the wood on the back and headed towards the higher ground straight into another bottomless pit of mud, oh joy!!
This time the bike really did not want to come out but after a considerable amount of effort, an unexpected mud bath and some not very nice comments about the bike, its makers and physical capabilities get it out we did and headed off at full steam too the high ground before coming back for all the wood etc. With the bike out I could finally try and finish counting the sheep and then look at the areas that we are going to try and get cut this year as part of the rstoration of the fen.
I was quietly wandering round when I got a call from our residential volunteer. She was trying not too laugh too much so I wondered if she could see me walking around and thought I had got stuck again. But no, the truth was even better. When she got back to the centre she was surprised to find a car stuck part way up the footpath to Tower Pool Hide. The owner was slightly sheepish about this but it was only when another volunteer who had been cleaning the hides came back that we got the full extent of the driving skills - he had got his car about 100m up the path before he realised that he was on a footpath, he then thought he would get off the path and reverse back too the car park. Needless to say he did not make it and ended up sunk all the way to his axle!
Whilst trying not to laugh too much we attached his tow loop and pulled him out, for which he gave us a donation which was nice before trying to slip away as unobtrusively as possible which was quite hard as one side of his car was plastered to say the least!
Earlier in the day we had had a couple walking up the line of our new hedgerow (due to be planted in the next three weeks if anyone woukld like to come and help out) so we were considering altering the signage to make it clearer where the footpath is, perhaps we should put up a sign saying no cars!
With all this excitement the only bird of note today was a bar tailed godwit - taking the year list to 109.
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